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Repeal Helms 2020 Social Media Toolkit

Overview and Details

Title of Legislation:

Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act

Handles:

Sponsor:

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL): @janschakowsky

Original cosponsors

  1. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY): @NitaLowey
  2. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA): @RepBarbaraLee
  3. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA): @RepSpeier
  4. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA): @AyannaPressley
  5. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO): @RepDianaDeGette
  6. Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA): @NormaJTorres

Key Messages / Talking Points:

Health equity

The Helms Amendment puts reproductive freedom out of reach for millions, imposing this unjust policy on communities around the world. It forces providers to distinguish between abortion and all other health services, meaning only those with means are able to access essential abortion care.

Everyone—including people living in low-to-middle income countries— has a right to the safety and dignity of basic health care that includes comprehensive reproductive health care. No matter where they live, everyone should have access to preventative screenings, testing and care, including access to safe abortion and contraception when they need it and with self-determination and respect.

U.S. policies around the world should reflect values of respect, freedom and equality. No matter where someone lives, they should have the freedom and opportunity to control their lives at the most basic level—including the decision about whether or when to become a parent.

The Helms amendment undermines U.S. efforts to improve maternal health and mortality by denying access to abortion services. Restricting access to abortion does not decrease the rate of abortion, it makes it less safe, leading to countless injuries and preventable deaths. Repealing the Helms amendment will save lives and align US foreign policy with its stated objectives.

Deaths from unsafe abortion are highest in Africa, which the largest percentage of US foreign assistance.

COVID-19

In times of crisis, we know that women and girls are often disproportionately affected. During the COVID-19 pandemic health systems will be overwhelmed by the emergency response, and sexual and reproductive health may be inaccessible.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that health systems ensure that abortion care is recognized as an essential health care service. Repealing the Helms Amendment will expand communities’ reproductive health care options and ensure more people can access essential abortion care.

Abortion care is time-sensitive and essential healthcare that cannot be significantly delayed without profound consequences on women’s health and well-being. Denying or delaying abortion care places an immediate burden on patients, their families, and the health system.

Racial Justice

Racial justice is a reproductive justice issue. Historically and globally, Black and Brown communities have been denied both, due to colonialism, white supremacy and ideological policies like the Helms amendment.

The Helms Amendment is a racist, white supremacist, neo-colonial policy that facilitates the United States government control over health care access and bodily autonomy of Black and Brown people around the world. The Helms amendment is a policy rooted in racism and it must fall in order for any vision of healthy equity and reproductive justice to be realized.

Hashtags:

Primary:

#RepealHelms

Secondary:

  1. #HelmsHurts
  2. #EndHelms

Social Media Posts:

Twitter

Health equity

The Helms Amendment puts reproductive freedom out of reach for millions of people around the 🌍. It forces providers to distinguish between abortion & all other health services, meaning only those with means can access essential abortion care #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

Everyone—including people in low-to-middle income countries—has a right to the safety & dignity of basic health care including comprehensive #SRH care, access to preventative screenings, testing & care, safe abortion & contraception. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

COVID-19

In times of crisis, women and girls are disproportionately affected. During #COVID19, it’s critical that abortion is recognized as an essential health care service. Repealing the Helms Amendment will expand reproductive health care options. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

Racial Justice

Racial justice and reproductive justice issues are intertwined. Historically and globally, Black and Brown communities have been denied both, due to colonialism, white supremacy and ideological policies like the Helms amendment. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

The Helms Amendment is a policy rooted in racism that facilitates US control over the health care and bodily autonomy of Black and brown people around the world. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

Racial & reproductive justice are intertwined. Simply having the right to health, bodily autonomy or abortion isn’t enough. Marginalized communities face economic, cultural, religious & systemic barriers that often keep them from accessing their rights. #RepealHelms

The Helms Amendment facilitates US control over the health care & bodily autonomy of Black & brown people around the world. It is a policy rooted in racism & it must fall in order for any vision of health equity & repro justice to be realized. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

General Helms Messaging

The Helms Amendment hinders millions of individuals around the world from being able to exercise their reproductive rights and deprives them of the care they want and need. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

Annually, there are more than 35 million unsafe abortions worldwide that lead to millions of injuries and tens of thousands of preventable maternal deaths. The Helms amendment exacerbates this crisis. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

The US plays a vital role in improving public health around the world, but the Helms Amendment is a clear & direct impediment to reducing maternal mortality & morbidity, empowering women & promoting gender equality, and upholding human rights. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

The Helms Amendment:

👎 increases maternal mortality & morbidity

👎 disempowers women

👎 undercuts gender equality

👎 suppresses human rights

#RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

Thank you @RepSchakowsky @NitaLowey @RepBarbaraLee @RepSpeier @AyannaPressley @RepDianaDeGette @NormaJTorres for moving to repeal this unjust policy that has harmed communities around the world. Everyone deserves the safety and dignity of basic health care. #RepealHelms

Thank you @RepSchakowsky @NitaLowey @RepBarbaraLee @RepSpeier @AyannaPressley @RepDianaDeGette @NormaJTorres for being champions of global reproductive health and rights and putting reproductive freedom back in the hands of millions. #HelmsHurts

Facebook

Health equity

As the largest government funder of global health, including family planning and reproductive health services, the U.S. plays a vital role in improving public health around the world.

The Helms Amendment is a clear and direct impediment to reducing maternal mortality and morbidity, empowering women and promoting gender equality, and upholding human rights.

The U.S. should use its foreign assistance to provide access to quality, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services for all people, which includes safe, legal and accessible abortion.

It is time to repeal this harmful policy and allow the use of U.S. funds to support safe abortion services worldwide. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

COVID-19

There will be gaps in sexual and reproductive health services created by COVID-19 and its effects on health systems. Restrictions imposed on NGOs by U.S. policies such as the Helms Amendment means that these organizations will not be able to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of women, including abortion. www.repealhelms.org

Racial Justice

Racial justice and reproductive justice are intertwined. Marginalized communities face economic, cultural, religious and systemic barriers that often keep them from accessing their rights and the care they want, need and deserve. The Helms Amendment allows the United States to control the health care and bodily autonomy of Black and brown people around the world. The Helms amendment is a policy rooted in racism and it must fall in order for any vision of healthy equity and reproductive justice to be realized.www.repealhelms.org

General Helms Messaging

The Helms Amendment hinders millions of individuals around the world from being able to exercise their reproductive rights and deprives them of the care they want and need. It reduces the availability of safe, legal abortion, denies health care providers lifesaving equipment and training, and has resulted in the unwarranted censoring of critical health information. Annually, there are more than 35 million unsafe abortions worldwide that lead to millions of injuries and tens of thousands of preventable maternal deaths. The Helms amendment exacerbates this crisis. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

Graphics/Images/Shareables

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Additional Resources & Information

Publications:

  1. The Ins and Outs of U.S. Abortion-related Restrictions Abroad and at Home (PAI)
  2. Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Index (CHANGE)
  3. Report Summary: All Women, All Rights, Sex Workers Included (CHANGE)
  4. New Polling Shows Majority of Voters Favor Overturning Helms. (downloadable PDF) (Ipas)
  5. Key Messages on the Harms of the Helms Amendment and the Case for Repeal (downloadable PDF) (Ipas)
  6. The Harmful Impact of the Helms Amendment on Women in Kenya (downloadable PDF) (Ipas)

Coalition Partners:

  1. Advocates for Youth: @AdvocatesTweets
  2. American Jewish World Service: @ajws
  3. Catholics for Choice: @Catholic4Choice
  4. Center for Reproductive Rights: @ReproRights
  5. CHANGE: @SRHRforAll
  6. Guttmacher: @Guttmacher
  7. ICRW: @ICRW
  8. Ipas: @IpasOrg
  9. IWHC: @IntlWomen
  10. NARAL: @NARAL
  11. PAI @pai_org
  12. Population Connection Action Fund: @popconnect
  13. Population Institute: @PopInstitute
  14. PPFA: @ppglobe, @ppact